Saturday, March 28, 2009

i am smart even though i am only mono--lingual

so there is this precocious child that often visits me in the library. now, this girl means well. she really does. and she is a bit ... oh how do you say it ... socially odd, so i feel bad for her and i genuinely try to be nice to her. i get the feeling i am one of the few people who talks to her. anyway, conversing with her is often a trying experience. patience does not always come easy to me. and the other day she started questioning me about my inability to speak fluent spanish.

girl: how come you don't speak spanish
me: well, i do speak some spanish (this is true! i studied spanish for years in our failing public school system!)
girl: oh really? what words do you know?
me: (getting annoyed) i can't tell you all the words i know.
girl: you should really learn more spanish.
me: it's not as simple as that.
girl: i can speak spanish.
me: yes, well that's very nice for you.

and so on. but i was starting to feel like she was accusing me of being less intelligent for not speaking perfect spanish. i happen to speak spanish very well when i am travelling and need a bathroom or want to know how much a trinket costs. once i even made a *cough* nefarious deal with the locals at a nightclub in spain. needless to say i started to get defensive and eventually banished her from my desk.

this has led me to comprise a list of phrases i consider to be "library spanish" that i will attempt to commit to memory. (thanks to my co-worker and alta-vista babel fish i was able to piece these together). now i have them on a word document which i keep open on my computer screen to be used as needed.

¿Usted regreso el libro?
You returned the book?

Le enviaremos algo en el correo cuando su libro está aquí.
We will send you something in the mail when your book is here.

El libro no está aquí.
The book is not here.

No puedo encontrar el libro.
I cannot find the book.

El libro esta perdido.
The book is lost.

Hábleles allá. dígales que no pude encontrar el libro.
Speak to them over there (them being the people at the Circulation Desk). Tell them i could not find the book

Hable con otra bibliotecario cuando ella regresa.
Talk to the other librarian when she gets back (to be used for situations needing comlipcated spanish phrases beyond my abilities).

No tiene que registrarse para los programas. Solo tiene que venir.
There is no registration for the programs. Just show up

1 comment:

Her Mother said...

wow those phrases are great.
i wish someone would give me a cheat sheet in Korean.